This episode of Friday Night SmackDown took place at the Performance Center in Orlando Florida. This was the fallout show from WWE Backlash. On the show, Bray Wyatt returned with the Fire Fly Fun House segment and AJ Styles celebrates his Intercontinental Championship win last week with a coronation.
Renee Young brought out AJ Styles for the Intercontinental Championship coronation. Various WWE Superstars surround the ring. AJ brags about winning the title. He points to Daniel Bryan, wanting him to present him the title. Daniel hesitated to do it. AJ accused Daniel of not being a man about his loss to AJ. Daniel put it around his waist. He congratulated AJ but AJ wanted him to say it like a man. Daniel congratulated him and told him he is going to be a great IC champion. Daniel said he could be if he defends the title every week against SmackDown’s best. AJ told him to shut up and said someone on his level will get an opportunity at it. Daniel recommended that AJ defend the title against Drew Gulak since Gulak pinned him the last time they fought. AJ declined it and said anyone who wants a shot has got to earn it. Matt Riddle came out to interrupt. He introduced himself but AJ told him he knows who he is, another person asking for a hand out. Riddle claimed that he is the bro that is going to run the show. AJ attacked Riddle but Riddle fought back, knocking AJ out of the ring. AJ yelled to get a referee out to the ring.
Before the match, Styles told Riddle, “no shirt, no shoes, no championship match.”
Matt Riddle Defeated AJ Styles
Renee Young hosted a sit down interview with Jeff Hardy. She asks about Sheamus targeting his struggles with addiction and his loss against Sheamus at Backlash. He said Sheamus is constant reminder of what he didn’t like about himself. He said he’s a junkie but he feels Sheamus is a miserable, insecure bully who is trying to stop his path towards redemption. He said he is not done yet.
Kayla Braxton interviewed Shorty G about his match against Mojo Rawley. He said he’s been dealing with guys bigger than him his entire life. Mojo was mocking his height while he was standing behind him. Shorty said that he’s got eyes in the back of his head. Shorty landed a right hand to Mojo and made his way to the ring for the match.
Shorty G Defeated Mojo Rawley
The Miz and John Morrison hosted MizTV. Miz talked about their Universal title match at Backlash. They said the pressure was them due to the rule change of the winner being the sole champion plus the chance of Otis cashing in Money In The Bank. They introduce Mandy Rose as their guest. They ask about her upstaging Sonya Deville. Mandy was about to leave until they mention that they have a surprise for her. Sonya Deville came out to the ring. Mandy told Sonya that she is done with this. Sonya said she is not done with her and will not stand for her upstaging Sonya anymore. Sonya mocks her not winning matches and just being there to make out with Otis. Mandy said she has people by her side and that Otis has been loyal to her since day one. She calls Sonya alone then asking her how long she will hold this resentment. Sonya said she is trying to figure out how she will get the Mandy Rose treatment. Sonya said she is going to take away the one thing she cares about the most. Sonya attacked her and the two of them brawl in the ring. Sonya pushed Miz in the way of Mandy to escape. Mandy slapped Miz and left the ring.
Bayley and Sasha Banks came out to do commentary with Michael Cole and Corey Graves.
The New Day Defeated Lucha House Party
Cesaro and Shinsuke Nakamura attacked New Day after the match. Cesaro berates Michael Cole, saying that they have been overlooked for too long.
Alexa Bliss, Dana Brooke, Naomi, Lacey Evans and Tamina are talking about putting an end to Sasha and Bayley’s dominate run in a video promo.
Kayla Braxton interviewed Sheamus. She asked about Jeff Hardy’s interview earlier. Sheamus admitted he is a bully and he enjoyed beating him at Backlash. He said he will propose a toast to Jeff Hardy next week.
Nikki Cross attacked Bayley and Shasha Banks by the commentary table. Nikki challenged Sasha to a match right now. Bayley accepted the challenge for Sasha. Sasha looked upset at Bayley.
Sasha Banks Defeated Nikki Cross
Bray Wyatt appeared on the Fire Fly Fun House. He said that he joined a book club, been on Tik Tok and learned how to knit. The rabbit tells him that he’s been upset about losing to Braun at Money In The Bank. Bray was about to say something about Braun until Braun came out to the ring. Braun said that there are no more games and claimed that this story is over. Bray said their story is just getting started. Bray is in his old attire. He tells Braun that he created him and he will destroy him. He tells Braun all he has to do is follow the buzzards.
The show ended with him telling Braun to run and blows out the lamp.
Review: Overall, this show was decent. There was nothing memorable or noteworthy that happened. Just more of the same as the past weeks.
I really liked Matt Riddle’s debut and the action in his match with AJ Styles was great. However, I don’t think beating AJ Styles when Styles just won the Intercontinental title was the way to go. It doesn’t really make a good start in AJ’s run as champion. I think Matt Riddle should’ve made his debut against someone like Nakamura and Cesaro who are former mid card champions. I know Styles is already an established star and this lost won’t hurt him but this is the problem with WWE is that they hot shot potential matches to show it on TV rather than pay per view. AJ and Riddle would’ve been that kind of match.
Hardy and Sheamus cut really good promos. Hardy shows how he is not done with Sheamus and how much the desire to beat Sheamus means to him. Sheamus always works as a cocky bully and he’s been doing great work as a heel and his promo was no different.
The Mandy Rose and Sonya Deville rivalry was reignited with the Miz TV segment. They both cut decent promos here and they both obviously got a storied history but I don’t know if I’m as invested in the rivalry as I was when Sonya first betrayed Mandy.
The New Day and Lucha House Party match wasn’t bad. I was asking myself where they were going in terms of New Day’s tag title run until they brought Cesaro and Nakamura into the mix. I don’t see much investment in that rivalry but with how Cesaro was yelling to Michael Cole about him and Shinsuke being overlooked, it could have potential.
Nikki Cross showed a lot of fire in her match and segment with Bayley and Sasha. I feel they should move on to another tag team already or have Bayley start a program with someone for her Women’s title. It is what it is though.
The Braun and Bray storyline is continuing. What I’m seeing is that they having Bray as his old cult character for Braun to defeat to drag this rivalry out a bit further until probably SummerSlam when they have The Fiend face Braun where he will beat Braun to win the title. I may be wrong but I feel that is where it’s heading. Otherwise, I thought Bray’s promo was great as always.
If I were to give this show a grade, I’d give it a 6/10.